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Jacks move up a spot at Willmar

The Bemidji High swim team got off to an encouraging start on its new season Saturday, moving up one place to finish third at the Willmar Invitational.

Melrose won the meet with 568 points to 425 for defending champion St .Cloud Tech. Bemidji had 403 some 30 points more than it registered at last year's event.

Tech won four events and Melrose, Willmar three and Sauk Centre two.

Bemidji failed to win any but registered a steady number of top ten finishes to pile up points..

Tonight Bemidji hosts Brainerd in its first dual meet of the year, seeking to turn the tables on the powerful Warriors, the only team to defeat Bemidji in 10 dual meets in 2008. The meet will begin at 6;00.

The most encouraging factor in Saturday's meet was Bemidji's ability to score 2-3-4 swimmers in most events, a depth it has not had in recent years.

It went 6-10-13 in the opening medley.

Selina Gilbertson and Katie Verchota finished 2-3 in the 200 free where freshman Lexie Hendricks was 10 and Amy Mahle 12.

In the IM, freshman Stephanie Frey was fourth, Alicia Papke-Larson eighth and Ashlin Hasson 16.

The 50 free found Maris Jahner 10 and Tayler Heinle 16.

The diving contingent placed all three with Jana Hedstrom third, Heinle fifth and Jade Hovet 14.

Bemidji managed only a single point in the butterfly but found Gilbertson third, Danielle Luby seventh., Jahner 10 and Kirsten Sharpe 16 in the 100 free.

The 500 saw Verchota second Hendricks sixth, Mahle 13 and Hannah Sweep 15.

Bemidji finished 3-9-13 in the 200 free relay led by Katie Krause, Verchota, Jahner and Gilbertson.

Luby, Hasson and Taylor Hedges went 9-12-14 in the backstroke and Frey, Papke-Larson and Taylor McLean 6-7-16 in the breast.

The 400 relay found Bemidji 4-7-14 led by Frey, Verchota, Luby and Gilbertson.

Coach Scott Leindecker was most pleased by the fact that 24 swimmers scored in the meet. That was from a full squad of only 32 swimmers and divers.

He is expected to field a altered lineup for the dual opener tonight.

 Brainerd took last year's meeting 107-79 in its home pool.

The Jacks will be looking to improve on that finish as the regular season begins to round into shape.